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File photo of fire. (Image courtesy of MGN Online)

A Texas mosque has gone up in flames and no one knows why


As the effects of Trump's immigration ban continue to reverberate across the world, a mosque in Texas became engulfed by flames, according to WJLA

Firefighters and several engines were dispatched after 2 a.m. Saturday morning, only to find the mosque completely immersed in flames, the Victoria Advocate reported. Battalion Chief Jeff Cowan of the Victoria Fire Department said firefighters did not discover anyone inside the building. 

As dawn approached, firefighters were able to extinguish the fire, as locals looked on and prayed from the sidewalk. 

The Victoria Fire Marshal's Office has sought help from the State Fire Marshal's Office and Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives in launching a formal investigation to find out how the fire erupted.

The Texas office of the Council on American-Islamic Relations said it would also monitor the fire's investigation.

"Because of growing anti-Muslim bigotry in our nation, and because of the recent spike in hate incidents targeting Islamic institutions and individuals, we urge investigators to keep the possibility of a bias motive for this fire in mind," CAIR-Houston Executive Director Mustafaa Carroll said.

The Victoria Islamic Center is no stranger to misfortune, either, having been the recent target of a burglary Jan. 21. And, in July 2013, a man admitted to painting "H8" --the computer shorthand for "hate"--on the building's exterior.

Congregation members set up a fundraising page, setting a goal of $450,000 to rebuild the house of worship. As of midday Saturday, it raised nearly $110,000.

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